RealTime IT News

BSA Sues 25 People for Alleged Software Piracy

The Business Software Alliance (BSA), striking out against illegal trafficking in software on the Internet, filed a lawsuit against 25 individuals accused of participating in the "warez4cable" IRC channel, an Internet chat forum allegedly used to traffic in pirated software.

This is the first lawsuit ever filed against individuals for allegedly pirating software in an IRC channel, the BSA said.

Last week, under the supervision of U.S. marshals, BSA said it carried out unannounced inspections of computer equipment at residences in Sacramento and Downey, CA, and in Troy and West Bloomfield, MI, seizing five computers.

Under U.S. law, all 25 defendants named in the lawsuit are potentially liable for damages up to $100,000 per copyrighted work infringed.

"Because of the increased access to high-speed connections, piracy in IRC channels is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to traffic in illegal software on the Internet," said Bob Kruger, vice president of enforcement for BSA. "That is why BSA is taking immediate action against this aggressive form of piracy."

The lawsuit results from months of investigation by BSA's Online Investigative Unit.

By using a special subpoena procedure created by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act enacted by Congress in 1998, BSA said it was able to identify the individuals named in the suit and take legal action.

"This lawsuit is part of BSA's on-going campaign to keep the Internet from becoming a safe haven for the conduct of software piracy," said Kruger.

BSA educates computer users on software copyright, advocates public policy, expands trade opportunities and fights software piracy.

Members include Adobe, Apple, Attachmate, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, Corel Corporation, Lotus Development, Macromedia, Microsoft, Network Associates, Novell, Symantec and Visio.